Wednesday, February 22, 2012

TAM Docents: Biennial Presentation Follow-ups

Hello Docents-

I received 2 more bits that may be of assistance for Biennial tours.

Thank  you,



From Barbara Beaver:

Jana,  Re Henry Tsang.  Tsang has several projects listed on Facebook, focusing on the contrasts of modern use of space and the original uses by the native peoples.  He has a permanent installation along False Creek walkway in B.C. juxtaposing Chinook Jargon (an early trade language) and modern day English, which eventually replaced it. Its composed of fiber-optic cable lighting and aluminum letters.  He also did a project of photos comparing Tiananmen Sq. Images of the wear and tear on the paving stones with a Canadian development of a Golf Course on land disputed by Native American militants.    I found very professional layouts on the web, but no personal information  in addition to his formal education.



Jana Wennstrom | TACOMA ART MUSEUM

Manager of Public and Volunteer Programs

T: 253.272.4258 x3030


embrace art in everyday life Folk Treasures of Mexico October 29 - February 19



Hello Jeremy-

Thanks so much for agreeing to edify us. The two questions that came up were:

1)    What is the significance of the colorful detritus at the base of the Trojan Horse figure?

The junk below the Trojan Horse is both pieces of the colorful "ribbons" that comprise the mane and tail, as well as leftover or cut-off boards.  My thought was "why clean up?" and/or "they were in a hurry."  Or even that the builders cleaned up most of the items, but left a few here and there.  I think those items suggest that the construction is relatively recent, awaiting reception by the intended party.  For me all that stuff kind of makes the whole scene more vital, more direct, suggesting a more specific moment in time and a more direct human presence/absence.  (They also, formally, tie the horse into the landscape.)

The "ribbons" themselves reference bunting (carnivals, car dealerships, grand openings...), "festival" lights (like Christmas lights), tassels on kid's bike handles, fireworks, or any other related multi-colored construct used as a code to communicate something exciting, desirable, positive, worthy of attention...  The Horse is "adorned" in a sense.  I like this code because it is visually stimulating, but although used sincerely in most every case in our world, the event they qualify is often underwhelming.  There's a tension there I'm trying to utilize- between an earnest, hopeful, positive act and the reality of oftentimes unremarkable or unnoticed results.  (But not always!!)

2)    The Tent City has all paths leading into the fire pit at the center but none away, what is the significance of that?

Any path 'away" (outside the ring of tents) wouldn't be trodden enough to show.  These folks have been here long enough to create travel patterns inside their community, but not outside because 1) they don't venture out nearly as often as they venture 'in' or between tents (see 'sub-trails') and 2) when they do venture outside the ring of tents, they can take any random direction they choose- there's no particular destination, therefore no visible path.

Good seeing you Jana!  Hope these help.


I appreciate you doing this and look forward to your answers.

Thanks again,




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